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ISEEN Winter Institute 2021
Monday, April 26, 2021, 8:00 AM to Thursday, April 29, 2021, 5:00 PM MST
Category: Winter Institute

16th Annual ISEEN Winter Institute 2021
Belonging to Our Place: Stewardship, Well-Being, and Heritage
April 26-29, 2021
Hosted By:
Verde Valley School
Sedona, Arizona

About the Institute

What does it mean to live principally and reflectively in place?  How does belonging to a place facilitate community and well-being?  How do we account for the ancient history of the land we now inhabit and consider our own?  Can a meaningful connection to an independent school campus and its surrounding terrain shape students in becoming life-long ethical stewards?

The 16th Annual ISEEN Winter Institute in Sedona, Arizona will explore questions about the impact, value, and ethics of place-based education.  Verde Valley School lives out these questions daily as a small school purposefully founded in a spectacularly beautiful and rugged valley of red rocks within close reach of both the Mexican border and dozens of Native Nations.  

Since its inception, Verde Valley School has been an international school, designed to unite students from around the world in critical thinking and principled inquiry while raising a shovel as much as a pencil.  In doing so, students become humble, responsible, and compassionate community members. With a stunning asphalt-free campus surrounded by National Forest, a working Farm, Horse Barn, and unparalleled access to the rugged outdoors, Verde Valley School offers a unique coursework infused with experiential learning.  They call it, “IB + Dirt.”  The school has been deeply loyal to its five guiding principles since its founding in 1948: Environmental Stewardship, Value of Physical Labor, Global Citizenship, Service to Others, and Academic Excellence.  

This year’s theme, Belonging to Our Place: Stewardship, Well-Being, and Heritage will invite participants to consider the places from which they come, their history, and how deeply tied students feel to the land they inhabit. In this post-pandemic time, we will challenge ourselves to consider questions about responsibility, ownership, privilege, and sustainability.  Participants will explore how a more nuanced, intimate understanding of our locale can allow us to be more curious, compassionate, and ethical travelers when we invite students to be guests in others’ places.  Through this Institute, you’ll witness the splendor of the Sedona landscape and the surprising capacity of a tiny school.  Beyond the crystals, vortexes and millions of Grand Canyon-bound tourists, Sedona is a place with deep ancestral history, a unique climate for year-round farming and outdoor exploration, and a community of global thinkers working to shape a small town into a principled and sustainable place to live.

Registration opens November 1, 2020.